Monday, December 12, 2011

Surviving Christmas Time

Saturday night was DH's work Christmas Party, which consisted of a cocktail hour and dinner at a golf club. We were both dreading it for different reasons, but made the effort to get off the sofa and dress-up for the 'free meal'.

DH will normally warn me if there will be a pregnant woman at social functions, so I was surprised when I saw a woman with a pregnant belly arrive. Luckily we were mingling at the other side of the room during cocktail hour, but later found ourselves sitting at their end of the table (it was one long table). I chose to engage in conversation with people on the other side of the table, although I could hear bits of the pregnancy talk that consisted of baby names, cravings/what to eat while pregnant, and general kid stuff. I managed to survive thanks to DH and gin. Meanwhile, I discovered that parents with teenagers enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages and prefer not talking about their kids.

Needless to mention I was a tad cranky when we finished our Christmas cards on Sunday. Then a good friend phoned and wanted me (solo) to join her for dinner the week before Christmas, but this girlfriend really seems to hate doing stuff with us as a couple. I am always surprised since she is single and DH may know of other guys that we could bring along. Anyway, I agreed to meet her for dinner that week and wondered where she wanted to go and she suggested a restaurant in my old 'hood from my single days. I vehemently said no I won't go to that neighborhood anymore because of what it has become: what was once a funky street with antique and consignment stores, and mom&pop shops is now full of trendy baby toy/clothes/furniture shops and Starbucks and the stroller-brigade. I then suggested going for sushi in a funky area near downtown. She was shocked by my bitchiness and lack of Christmas spirit and told me that I should 'get out more'. Ummmmm, my hating the Holidays is tied up with my infertility and she, like most people, does not understand this. I decided not to fight with her, but my inner voice thought 'whatever'. This lack of understanding underlines how isolating infertility can be...especially at Christmas.

This morning DH was hanging out at home a bit longer since he was going directly to the airport for a business trip. We were talking about the Christmas cards and the new address we are waiting for from an old college friend of DH. I then reflected that this friend and his wife (who were married about a year ago) might be good to hang out with since they are in their early forties without children. Surprise, surprise, DH then tells me that the friend's wife is pregnant. Oh, God. Oh, God. My stomach turned sour. The tears began falling down my cheeks upon realizing that we are the only couple without a child within our social circle. The only consolation was that DH told me that he found out the info from Suit Guy when we met up with him the other week for drinks after Christmas shopping. Suit Guy told DH the news when I left to go to the restroom. Suit Guy reasoned that "Life really is unfair if **** can have a baby and you guys can't." At least Suit Guy feels a bit of our pain. (And yes, Suit Guy is a lot like the Barney character from 'How I Met Your Mother', except the women ask him out, and it was interesting -- and strangely comforting -- how they made the Robin character infertile.)


Niki G said...

Hugs to you over this Christmas season. I know what its like to have fertility issues and how hard it is at this time of year.
It is so very sad that you want your husband to join you on dinners with your girl friends. I am married for 16 yrs and I enjoy getting together with my single and married friends WITHOUT hubs! It sounds like you are very focused on your infertility and you may be isolating yourself from your close friends by insisting on your husband joining you on these occasions. I am taking a guess (and from reading your previous blog posts) that you don't have many girlfriends left...especially if you're treating them like this poor girl! And why in heaven's name would your hub want to join you for dinner with a girlfriend?
Get a grip barrenbabe or you may not have girlfriends to complain about!

AmyG said...

Wow, Niki G! If that's a hug, I'd hate to see your sucker-punch!

I think it's great that your DH is someone you want to spend time with for fun -- I can't fathom why anyone would find that sad. And I don't see anything in your missive suggesting that you're pushing your friend away. Maybe it's hard for her to hang out with couples when she's unwillingly single; just like it's hard to hang out with families when one is unwillingly childless. I'm obviously just speculating there.

Anyway, back to YOU...

Holy smokes; just reading about that last pregnancy announcement made me feel like I had been punched in the chest. I am SO sorry you're in this place. Here's hoping the holidays are less stressful and more enjoyable then you predict.

Nicole said...

First off, Niki - um, could you be more rude? This is not the way to help someone who is feeling down. In some relationships, I have really enjoyed more time with my girlfriends sans significant other. In my current relationship, I really prefer to have my guy around most of the time, unless it is something specifically very girly. I think it is good BOTH ways and it depends on the person. Stop being so judgmental.

Finally, to my dearest Barren Babe. Hugs. The holidays can be so hard for a lot of people - and I think it is particularly hard on infertile folks. I actually find celebrating Christmas w/my parents awkward now, because my mom still gets my sister and I SO many presents and it feels, well, overwhelming. It is like she still gives us all these gifts since neither of us have kids. I fell like the extremely gift giving just really spotlights my parents lack of grand children, and I end up feeling guilty. SO, I know how you feel.

Take care of YOU this holiday season and don't worry about others. Do things that you and DH enjoy. Spend time w/the people with whom you feel comfortable. Take time for you. I have found, even if I disappoint someone else, doing what is best for me is always best.

Here are some real hugs to you. Take care dear lady.

Barren Babe said...

Thanks for the kind words AmyG and Nicole. As for Niki, well those hugs feel like daggers. Perhaps I have isolated myself due to my infertility, but that is only to protect myself from thoughtless and insensitive remarks from fertile folk. Infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss have changed me and I am not the same fun-loving gal that I used to be. But, I believe with enough time and understanding that party-girl will re-emerge...maybe when everyone's babies become teenagers.

This post was written in haste and I was emotionally disappointed in the lack of understanding from this friend, partly because she was despondent last Christmas (many tearful phone calls) and now she has no empathy regarding my lack of Christmas cheer. Oh, well, c'est la vie.